Uttar Pradesh Police have conducted raids on the owners of Dainik Jagran newspaper in Kanpur, Ghaziabad and Noida in connection with the exit poll published by the newspaper soon after the first phase of the assembly polls was concluded on 11 February.
Breaking: Police raids in Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Noida on Dainik Jagran owners in connection with exit poll
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) February 13, 2017
Election Commission on Monday had directed the district election officers of each of the districts covered under the first phase of Uttar Pradesh poll and Lucknow to immediately file FIR against the concerned authorities of the agencies involved in the publication of the exit poll under Section 188 of IPC read with Section 126A and 126B of RP Act, 1951.
In a naked defiance of the Election Commission guidelines, Dainik Jagran newspaper has carried out an exit poll in favour of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh even though six more phases of polling are still left.
The newspaper, often accused of being pro-BJP, carried the exit poll by using a sample of 5,700 voters, who cast their votes in the first phase of elections on 11 February.
Its ‘finding’ said, “The BJP will become the numero uno party in the first phase. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will be at second position while the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance is not likely to get a positive response from the voters. The findings were first published by Dainik Jagran website.”
It further added, “The region is crucial to the BJP because it swept all the 12 Lok Sabha seats in Western UP in the 16th general election. The other important thing to be noted is that BJP-led NDA government has three Union Ministers from the region – Mahesh Sharma, Retired General VK Singh, and Sanjeev Baliyan.”
The paper later taken the results of its exit poll off its website in the face of mounting criticism on social media platforms.
Jagran was among the first media groups Prime Minister had chosen to speak to after becoming the prime minister.
Jagran’s decision to carry out an exit poll in defiance of the EC guidelines is a serious development and the action was bound to have invited punitive action, even closing down of the publication, in any other matured democracy.
While it remains to be seen what action the EC, often perceived to be toothless in the face of violations favouring the BJP, would initiate against the Jagran group, the news has only prompted an otherwise beleaguered saffron party to go to town claiming victory in western Uttar Pradesh, that went to polls on 11 February.